Facebook F8 Developers Conference 2018 was all about covering the Cambridge Analytica episode. The F8 2019 was again more focused on security and privacy. It looked like all of a sudden, Facebook has started taking its users in confidence by speaking more about data security and privacy. Though, last year there were many declarations that brought a smile on the face of the marketers, this year the focus was more on privacy and new User Interface. Still, Social Media Marketers can find a few things from this F8 to make some strategical adjustments. Let’s see what important announcement marketers have this year!
MAJOR TAKEAWAYS FROM THE KEYNOTE SPEECHES
MESSENGER LIGHT HAS MANY NEW FEATURES
Mark Zuckerberg and Messenger head Asha Sharma announced some important updates for Facebook Messenger.
- New Messenger Light will be less than 30 MB in size (<30 MB). It will also load faster and this will world’s fastest and lightest messenger app.
- The app will focus on the interoperability feature. It means a user will be able to send a message from Messenger to WhatsApp and Facebook too.
- At present, there are 2 Billion plus one-to-one communication is taking place with an encrypted message and even in the future, all the messages will be private to the users only.
- There will a ‘Watch Together’ video feature for the group. Friends can watch a video together while doing video calling in a group. That’s interesting!!
- In messenger, there will be a ‘Friends” tab. From this tab, a user can see all the activities and stories of the friends only.
- Messenger will introduce Appointment Booking API. Using this API, a user can easily ask the people to book the appointment from Messenger only instead of directing to Facebook’s new appointment feature.
- There will be a separate Desktop App for desktop chat and video calling.
- Finally, the lead generation ads will direct target audience to messenger too. At present, an advertiser can only collect the leads in a lead form.
MORE FOCUS ON WHATSAPP BUSINESS APP
Zuckerberg in the first keynote and later Ami Vora – WhatsApp business head declared some important updates. As expected, the emphasis was on the end-to-end data encryption and WhatsApp Business app.
- At present, there are 1.5 Billion users of WhatsApp. Most of the people are using WhatsApp status very regularly.
- All the text and media files sent through WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted. The data is not vulnerable and it is not even known to any government of Facebook.
- WhatsApp Business will introduce a product catalog in the app. It will help the small business owners to promote their products through a catalog.
- WhatsApp will expand its Payment feature in other countries too after a reasonable success in India.
FACEBOOK APP IS COMING WITH NEW UI AND MANY OTHER STAND ALONE FEATURES
The new Facebook app is named FB5. The main focus on the FB5 will be on building strong communities. Fidgi Simo – Head of Facebook App product announced some main features:
- New app will have easy to discover groups. People can easily find the groups they would love to join. It clearly highlights that Facebook is continuing its efforts to promote groups.
- There will be a relevant group recommendation for the users. For example, if a user is watching cricket related videos regularly on ‘Watch’, he will be given the group suggestions that are based on cricket or maybe sports.
- Employers can make their jobs open inside the groups and all the group users will be able to apply for the jobs from within the groups only.
- To promote local communities more, there will be a new “Event” tab inside the app. It will help people to find more local events easily.
- Even Facebook is changing its logo and website UI. In the new FB website UI, the focus will be on easy navigation and groups will remain at the heart of the experience.
- Last year, Facebook announced Facebook Dating feature and it has gained good success in the pilot launch in few countries. FB Dating is using a different profile than Facebook’s normal profile of the person. This feature will be launched in some more countries this year but as of now, there is no announcement for launch in India 🙁
- ‘Secret Crush’ is the new feature going to be added this year. This will be a private list of interested people. If 2 people are putting each other in their respective lists, then it will come out as a match. The same 2 people can then date each other through Facebook Dating app.
- A new tab will be launched – “Meet New Friends”. From this tab, users will be able to explore an opportunity to connect like-minded people.
INSTAGRAM WILL FOCUS MORE ON CONTENT AND CONVERSION
Adam Mosseri, Instagram head announced that they will focus more on content, creativity and sales.
- Instagram app will have dedicated shopping process. Sellers will now use Instagram to sell the products through Shopping feature.
- There will be a “Create Mode” from where users will be able to make more creative content using AR.
- To demote the feeling of competition, people will not be able to see who have liked other’s post on Instagram.
- Instagram will focus heavily to combat bullying.
ONCE AGAIN, IT IS CLEAR THAT THE FUTURE IS AR/VR
Finally, John McCarthy, Kimberlee Archer and Sean Liu told about the future of Facebook and other apps with AR and VR. There will be a new device called ‘Portal’. The Portal will be used for WhatsApp and Messenger video calls and chat. New ‘Spark’ AR is going to be launched for creators and developers on Windows and Mac. After the success of Oculus Go, Facebook is introducing 2 new VR devices – Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S.
I personally feel, this year, the major focus of Facebook was on winning the trust of the users and developers. Even in the keynote speech of Mark, he looked nervous. Comparing with the previous F8s, there is nothing much for the social media marketers but if used smartly, they can still get a good result with these new features. Digital Marketing in India will also need to change the gear if want to compete with the global market.